Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Hitler's Reich an initial solo play

Just got Hitler's Reich board Wargame by GMT and managed to get a short solo session with it.
A highly abstract but flavoursome Strategic game on the European theatre of WW2 from 1941 to 1945.
No units as such just some little wooden markers to show your conquests (or lack thereof) and various actions, special rules and so on, on a smallish but mounted map.
Various cards are heart of system along with Actions (acheiving these successfully and generating using various Bonus Actions is key) and opposed dice rolls.
Conflict cards are essentially playing card values (but given various military ranks here) to which are added 3-5 d6 dice with simply highest total wins.
Of course not that simple as numerous Event cards can be 'bought' which can effect things through extra dice, dice re-rolls and numerous special effects (some of the higher ranking Conflict cards have re-roll abilities).
All the usual WW2 events/stuff are covered such as Enigma, Tiger tanks, Patton, Guderian, Convoys Barbarossa, D-Day etc generating the flavour of the period in abstract fashion.
The game is quick play (in fact marketed as WW2 in 1-2 hours) and would appear to do just that once one would learn basic systems.
The rules are a bit opaque in certain areas but playing through a few turns soon straightens things out.
Comes with a solo 'Bot' but I used the simpler Fog of War solo version.
Hope to get a head to head with this soon.

Game on the table with Germans punching through to Moscow

Shako II again - Plancenoit 1815 scenario

Another excellent game using Shako II at Stephens.
He set up the scenario from Fields Of Glory supplement covering the action at Plancenoit during Waterloo battle 1815.
I used my Prussians against Stephens French buggers.
Scenario set up is such that it allows attacks versus Plancenoit by Von Hillers Brigade from first couple of turns and my Regulars indeed took one of the town sectors (4 in total) but my Landwehr failed miserably against other sectors especially the Church which has +2 defence.
Pretty hard for lowly Landwehr to win as even rolling a 6 they fail if defenders roll 4+.
I sent my Cavalry under Prince William of Prussia to try to outflank Stephens right which they initially succeeded in doing by completely destroying the French Cavalry arrayed against them but not without loss.
However they then reverted to defend orders and I failed to exploit their success properly as my ADCs failed to get across in time to convert the Princes orders (they either died or went slowly ! seems they were too busy with local wines and wenches ?).
I also tried to conduct a flank manoeuvre on my left with Von Ryssel Brigade but this was slowed by the stream and a lack of deployment room.
Indeed Von Ryssel had to halt as Hillers Brigade went demoralised and then broke (in Shako this means entire command removed from table).
A large wooded area in centre meant it took the units of Von Losthin took ages to advance to contact and the move around the wood by Von Hake Brigade was also slow.
Losthins troops manfully attacked the French positions on the large hill but again the Ladwehr proved incapable of the task whilst their Regular colleagues overran an Artillery Battery and a French foot unit causing the French formation to go demoralised.
But French reserves arrived in shape of a Young Guard and then an Old Guard Division just as Losthins formation dissolved due to auto-breaking.
As the scenario 12 turn time limit expired Prussians had failed to break French lines and Old Guard had not been committed to action.
Super game again using these fun fast playing rules.

Von Losthins Brigade approach the woods

Von Hiller outside Plancenoit

Prince Williams Cavalry prepare to advance

French defenders on hill and their Cavalry

And their defenders in Plancenoit (trust me they are in there)

Von Bulows direct operations (Rysels Command stand visible at rear for arrival of turn 1)

Von Hakes Command stand ready to arrive on turn 1 to rear of Losthin

Von Hake flanking the wood as Prince Williams cavalry ride to glory on right

Where the cavalry engagement swings in their favour

Hillers troops come a cropper against town as Ryssel tries to march to left

Progress slowed by stream (not two green marker indicating Hiller demoralised)

Hakes command comes under long range Artillery fire

Annoying French Skirmishers contest stream crossing

As Hillers Landwehr waste themselves assaulting the Church

Ryssels command assume defensive posture

Hakes command contesting the hill at game end as French reserves arrive (Old Guard in distance) note Losthins command has disappeared (ie Broken)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Utitsa 1812 scenario using Shako II

Game against Stephen today using a Shako scenario Utitsa, Borodino 1812.
Since it is designed for Shako we decided to play using Shako II.
A very entertaining, hard fought and bloody affair it turned out to be !
French attackers must take Utitisa village and the adjacent 'Mound' within 12 turns.
Utitisa village was taken (after a rather poor showing by my Elite Grenadier Division) but best French could manage was to contest the Mound so a Draw per scenario victory conditions.
But my word the losses on both sides especially the Russian were awful !
I lost 4 of 5 Divisions and French lost several units and those remaining were battered and bruised.
My remaining Division was large (8 Foot Bttns, a Skirmisher unit and a Gun battery) and unbloodied luckily for me.

Shako generates a very quick playing and flavoursome game different to my preferred Field Of Battle but ultimately generating a similar outcome and exciting gameplay.

Russians deploy in and behind Utitsa

French deployed to attack

Russian Jager Division deployed in woodland

French right wing with Russian Army Heavy Battery on the Mound

The struggle for Utitsa

And the Mound

Jagers engaged by French left

To and fro at the village

Russian reserves shore up defence of Mound

French reserves also arrive

View of Russian right with Reserve Division heading to fill gap between woods and village

Utitsa has fallen but fresh Division heads to protect Mound

As Division on Russian right are sacrificed to hold French back

French numbers beginning to tell

Overview as Russian lines thin

Final struggle for Mound (the Guns luckily managed to drive off two Bttns)

Dearth of Russians now on their right flank !

Russian Reserve ensures Mound is secured

Just in time